What Hamilton Teaches Us About 2020
Start writing a post

What Hamilton Teaches Us About 2020

After listening to the entirety of the Hamilton soundtrack – in preparation for the musical's Disney + debut on July 3rd – I recognize the parallels between the musical and the current events.

What Hamilton Teaches Us About 2020
Photo by Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash

When Lin Manuel Miranda first brought to life the story of founding father, Alexander Hamilton, in 2015, critics raved. Miranda's authentic depiction of Hamilton's life in Hamilton has changed the way that people view and teach history. Ever since the premiere, the Richard Rodgers Theatre has been nearly sold-out every performance – with crowds paying over a thousand dollars per seat at times. Through all of Hamilton's success and notoriety, the musical provides a lesson that translates to the current political-social climate.

Before 2015, Alexander Hamilton was simply a historical figure who people overlook. In history textbooks, Hamilton's story was only one-page long if lucky. The United States would not be the country it was without Hamilton's contributions; however, it took Lin Manuel Miranda's musical vision to tell the impressive and remarkable story of Alexander Hamilton. The amount of people in history that people overlook is exorbitant. Despite shaping history, it is common to forget these notable names.

The lesson which has been abundantly conveyed in 2020 and called attention to through Hamilton is simple – to move forward together, we must acknowledge these names. Names of historical figures who shaped history hundreds of years ago but were neglected during their time. While also recognizing the people who are making history today. The actions and words of people are commonly ignored but deserve a voice and place in history. There are the names of people who were put in unfortunate circumstances who's legacy will remain at the forefront of the 2020 civil rights movement – Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, among others. These are people who have initiated an era of accountability and justice. The people who have provoked a movement and influx of protests and reform – both peaceful and hostile. 2020 will be in the history books of the next generation, and will hopefully last longer than a single page.

A different lesson can also be seen through Lin Manuel Miranda's narrative of Alexander Hamilton. Before Miranda created the musical, Hamilton, most Americans could not differentiate Hamilton from the other founding fathers. Through this musical, both the good and the bad about a figure in America's history are uncovered. Instead of changing history, Hamilton helps people to notice both sides of history and decide for themself. It shows the fans that sometimes the good outweighs the bad. Sometimes history was on the wrong side – especially during the founding and building of America. It is not acceptable to diminish wrongdoing because of a person's achievements. However, it is also not acceptable to limit a person's accomplishments because of their wrongdoing. Alexander Hamilton was not a perfect man – he was a leader who had old-fashioned ideas, but also helped the United States to grow when the country needed it the most.

In the musical, historical figures like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are known for their ability to create a strong foundation for the United States to build upon. Instead of hyper-focusing on the bad and stripping these historical figures – among others – of their achievements during their times, we need to take a step back. Recognize that the past is something we should not forget, but we are currently a different country with different people and beliefs. Taking down monuments and deleting the evils which existed in the past is not vital to moving forward. Hamilton teaches its viewers to educate themselves and learn from both sides of history. Understanding the political and social climate of our ancestors is an important part of growing together, as opposed to growing apart.

The events which have transpired these past few weeks are hideous acts of injustice and discrimination which have existed in America since its foundation. There is a problem with the "system." We need to look at and rebuild this system to be stronger and nonpartisan. Even though Hamilton is more than a musical, it teaches the viewer so much more about finding strength and building upon history instead of deleting it. Despite being only halfway through, 2020 is a year that invokes change, knowledge, and difficult but necessary conversations.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments